News & Analysis

  1. PandoLive

    PandoLIVE is LIVE now with the Kleiner Perkins trial, Tinder’s bet on creep, and more reports of Downtown Vegas’ demise

    Oh so many things to discuss this week, as our editorial team has been on fire of late. Dan Raile is spending all month at the Ellen Pao trial, filing his first dispatch today, meanwhile East Coast editor David Holmes has been on his own far less arduous research project– live blogging every episode of his epic binge watch of House of Cards. And of course we have Mark Ames’ bitingly incisive story on the death of Boris…
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  3. fingerprint

    Qualcomm’s fingerprint scanner is the only thing most consumers will appreciate from MWC

    Most of the things revealed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona aren’t worth getting too excited about. For example, how many people are really going to be using any of the payment platforms introduced during the conference, or buying the expensive-but-“secure” devices, or paying even the slightest attention to talk about Google’s wireless network or Facebook’s drones? But there is at least one thing worth paying attention to: Qualcomm’s fingerprint scanner. The new scanner uses “ultrasonic sound technology”…
  4. pao-kleiner-perkins-trial

    One angry man: Dispatches from the Pao vs Kleiner courtroom, Pt I

    On Tuesday, Re/Code’s Kara Swisher was interviewing Hilary Clinton. On Wednesday, she was sitting behind in me in the gallery of a courtroom in San Francisco Superior Court, wearing dark sunglasses and eating some kind of takeout. The rest of us in the working tech press can only dream of reaching the level of importance that allows one to eat our lunch in court, in defiance of posted signs. By contrast, the co-editor of TechCrunch apparently has some way to…
  5. boris-nemtsov

    Boris Nemtsov: Death of a Russian Liberal

    I bought a couple of bottles of Yarpivo in a Chinese-owned discount store around the corner here in Brooklyn, and poured one out for Nemtsov, who ended his life as a Yaroslavl city councilman. I never liked him much, but his murder was brutal, and frightening — and the dark fear it’s brought to Moscow is very real. Nemtsov was a very different kind of liberal or “ultra-liberal” than what we think of as liberals. In the best sense, that…
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  7. tinder-pay

    The real reason nobody is going to pay for Tinder? Creepiness isn’t a business model

    The dating app Tinder, which lets users accept or reject potential mates in their area by swiping right or left, has plenty of users — 50 million, according to some sources. But like so many wildly popular products in the new app economy, it doesn’t make any money. The company hopes to change that today with the launch of Tinder Plus, a paid version of the app that, for $9.99 a month in the US, will offer users additional features like…
  8. Swiss Cheese

    Apple Pay remains secure, but the banking support call centers it relies on have proven easy targets for fraud

    Security is a never-ending juggling act between preventing unwanted accessibility and delivering an easy, enjoyable user experience. Often, when companies overly prioritize the latter, the unintended consequence is marked increase in incidences of fraud. So has been the case with the banking industry’s adoption of Apple Pay. With the popularity and rapid adoption of the new iOS payment platform, card issuers have had to authorize and provision encrypted card details for more than 2 million US consumers (and more individual…
  9. smoking-e-cigarettes

    Study: It’s easier for teens to buy e-cigs online than to get real cigarettes in a store

      It’s hard for teenagers to buy cigarettes. Most stores are required to check someone’s ID before selling them any tobacco products, and new driver’s licenses are getting harder to fake. Barring help from someone who can legally buy them — which seems disturbingly easy to get, unfortunately — many teenagers won’t be getting cigarettes any time soon. A new study in North Carolina, the heart of tobacco country, shows that it isn’t nearly as difficult for teens to buy…
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  11. venmolucas

    Venmo still hasn’t apologized for — let alone addressed — its security issues

    Venmo isn’t responding to criticism of its security practices as well as some might like. Its security was questioned last week when Slate revealed that it doesn’t inform users when their passwords are changed, nor when new email accounts are connected to existing Venmo accounts, which allowed one thief to make off with about $2,850 of a Venmo user’s money. The service usually informs its users when money has been transferred. In addition to adding a new email address…
  12. strictly-business

    PayPal plans $280M acquisition of Paydiant

    PayPal is planning to acquire Paydiant, the company behind CurrentC — retailers’ answer to Apple Pay — for a reported $280 million. No word yet on how the companies will mix, nor if Paydiant’s relationship with the industry group behind CurrentC will remain intact. [Source: Re/code]
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  14. Green Bitcoin

    Barry Silbert’s BIT wins the race to become the first publicly traded bitcoin investment vehicle

    Even for those investors interested in finding exposure to bitcoin, you could forgive them for feeling skeptical about even the most high profile of exchanges within the category. Bitcoin exchanges have proven a high profile target for hackers and internal fraud, with many of the most widely traded platforms falling victim to such attacks. But thanks to a new investment vehicle hitting a major US stock exchange, these bitcoin-specific exchanges are no longer an investor’s only option. Bitcoin Investment Trust…
  15. isis-gaza

    Islamic State supporters threaten Twitter employees

    Supporters of the so-called Islamic State have called for attacks on Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and other Twitter employees as retribution for shuttering its propaganda accounts. BuzzFeed was the first to translate the threat from its original Arabic. It reads, in part: You started this failed war … We told you from the beginning it’s not your war, but you didn’t get it and kept closing our accounts on Twitter, but we always come back. But when our lions…
  16. elsewhere

    Microsoft reportedly wants to acquire Prismatic

    Microsoft is in talks to acquire Prismatic, a news aggregation service that uses natural language processing to recommend content in which its users might be interested, according to a report from TechCrunch. Apple, Yahoo, Google, and Facebook are all said to have expressed similar interest in the company. (Which is surely a sign of actual interest and not at all an attempt by someone at the company to make it seem like a hot commodity — right?) [Source: TechCrunch]
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  18. Overheard

    “Just wanted to confirm that the rumors are true — I’m excited to be running Google’s Photos and Streams products!  It’s important to me that these changes are properly understood to be positive improvements to both our products and how they reach users.”

    — Bradley Horowitz announcing he will now lead Google+

  19. strictly-business

    Samsung announces Samsung Pay

    Samsung has announced Samsung Pay, a competitor to the Apple Pay product included in Apple’s latest iPhones, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The feature will allow new Samsung Galaxy S6 owners who use MasterCard to pay for goods with their phones. It’s not clear when other credit card companies will be supported. [Source: The Guardian]
  20. elsewhere

    Google’s mobile network to be unveiled in ‘coming months’

    Google’s product head, Sundar Pichai, said during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today that the company’s wireless network will debut in the United States in the “coming months.” Asked about the network’s features, Pichai said that it wants to “experiment” like it has with Android, and that it has carrier partners with which it’s working. [Source: TechCrunch]
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The Week in Review

Friday

female-voices-silicon-valley1 Fair warning: Pandoland is not that kind of conference Read all 13 recaps from our sleepless House of Cards marathon Courts deem CallFire a common carrier, setting a major precedent at intersection of telecom and tech law An average season ends on a high note: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 13, reviewed “An empire without heirs.” House of Cards Season 3, Episode 12, reviewed Will Claire jump? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 11, reviewed Facebook now allows its users, not a drop-down menu, to define their genders How Frank got his groove back: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 10, reviewed Kim Dotcom’s Mega is dropped by PayPal over end-to-end encryption, may adopt Bitcoin instead Prepare for war? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 9, reviewed The War Nerd: Why did Mohammed Emwazi become Jihadi John? Has Frank become… boring? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 8, reviewed Twitter keeps Dick Costolo’s promise with new anti-harassment tools Will Frank lose his Lady Macbeth? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 7, reviewed “I should’ve never made you president.” House of Cards Season 3, Episode 6, reviewed SF’s real income inequality issue isn’t hipsters priced out of homes — It’s the homeless What House of Cards gets wrong about Russia: Season 3, Episode 5, reviewed Another episode, another enemy: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 4, reviewed Has Frank Underwood met his match? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 3, reviewed “You are entitled to nothing.” House of Cards Season 3, Episode 2, reviewed Meet President Underwood: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 1, reviewed